Fact #1: There is only a finite amount of oil on Earth
Fact #2: The demand for oil will only increase over time
Facts 1 & 2 combined tells us that gasoline (a product derived from oil) can only increase. Over the last several years, gas prices have increased at an average rate of about 30 cents a year. The first six months of 2008, gas prices spiked to over $4/gal. This was due to speculation by energy traders of a "cooling" US economy and a potential recession. Take a look at this graph.
Today, gas prices have come down from that all time high to more "normal" levels and will likely continue to drop over the next few months. However, this short-term relief is just that: short-term. Facts 1 & 2 will never go away and so we need to do what we can NOW to prepare for rising oil prices in the future.
How do Americans consume energy? We can breakdown energy consumption by consumer classes as follows:
Unfortunately, today, we are far from achieving that goal. 86% of all energy used in the United States is through the burning of fossil fuels. Over the last eight years, under the Bush administration, U.S. energy policies have been stagnant. However, starting in 2009 under the Obama presidency, U.S. energy policies are expected to undergo a renaissance.
A recent WER poll revealed that roughly 75% of Americans think that the US is too dependent on foreign fossil fuels and foreign oil. Over 80% believe that it's the government's job to eliminate this dependency and bring clean, renewable & efficient methods of power production right here.